Audio Engineering: Ducking (Mic Bleed Control)

Here is a sound example from a 5-person panel discussion.  On the left are tracks with no ducking or control over the sound bleed.  On the right are tracks ducked in post using my favorite method of silencing with fades in/out.  This is just to demonstrate the huge significance in sound quality when mitigating mic bleed, whether in the field or in post.

To illustrate the point in the example below,  I exaggerated the tracks just a bit with compression to increase their overall sound.  These tracks were recorded with this rig, which is typical of how I record multi-input podcasts in the field.  (I have a smaller 2 channel rig as well).  Each mic channel is run through a dbx 266 using the noise gate to reduce the audio by about 2 to 3dB.  It’s not much, but it really helps.  I use compression somewhat, too, to tame transients.